Gardening Unplugged - Establishing Tropical Plants

Gardening Unplugged - Establishing Tropical Plants

with Bill Reynolds

By Published September 2022

In this episode of Gardening Unplugged, our Research Supervisor Bill Reynolds shares his best tips on selecting and establishing tropical plants. Gardening Unplugged is a free serious of garden related talks conducted during our Open Nursery and Garden Days at Plant Delights Nursery and Juniper Level Botanic Garden.

Tropical plants and tropical looking plants mentioned in this video:

  • Cocos nucifera (Coconut Palm)
  • Chamaecrops (Fan Palm)
  • Colocasia (Elephant Ear)
  • Alocasia (Upright Elephant Ear)
  • Cycas revoluta (Sago Palm)
  • Cycads
  • Rhapidophyllum hystrix (Needle Palm)
  • Amorphophallus (Corpse Flower)
  • Trachycarpus fortunei (Windmill Palm)
  • Sabal minor (Scrub Palmetto Palm)
  • Sabal 'Birmingham'
  • Sabal palmetto
  • Zingiber (Myoga Ginger)
  • Zantedeschia (Calla Lily)
  • Arum (Arum Lily)
  • Hymenocallis (Spider Lily)
  • Amaryllids
  • Hippeastrum (Amaryllis)
  • Hibiscus syriacus
  • Erythrina
  • Musa Basjoo
  • Musa velutina
  • Musa yunnanensis
  • Musa sikkimensis

 

Video Transcription

Well good morning, and my name is Bill Reynolds, and I am one of the horticultural supervisors here at Juniper Level Botanic Garden and we are going to take a look through the gardens today and talk about tropical plants and establishing tropical plants.

First of all, I’d like to begin with a little, with a few definitions. When you think of a tropical plant, what comes to mind? Fruit?

Fruit, there you go. That's a good one. Can you name one of the fruits that you think of as tropical?

Banana.

That's a very good one. When you think of tropical, what else do you think of?

Humidity.

Humidity, what else?

Rain.

Rain, what about warm temperatures?

Steamy.

Steamy. So pretty much in our minds we have this idea that tropical is like Miami. But in reality, when we look at our planet, it's divided up by latitudes and within a latitude zone around our planet those technically contain the tropics. And so oftentimes the tropics contain all the growing zones that we see in higher latitudes outside the tropics. So sometimes when we talk about tropical, we're talking about a temperature. A warm, humid, really lush foliage, and we don't consider the fact that tropical could also be high montane, plants that actually grow in a much colder or even drier climate. Some of the driest climates on earth occur within the edges of the tropics or subtropics. So, it's not always about rain it's not always about humidity and it's not always about plants that require or need a really hot climate.

But a good example of a plant that I think is a signature plant of the tropics would be the coconut palm. Those only grow in really warm, humid [conditions]. They're typically not freeze tolerant, even though occasionally individuals will survive a cold hit, but that's a plant that really doesn't like temperatures much below 50 degrees and doesn't really like temperatures that get above 110. So, they're kind of the... when you picture the tropics, you always see the beach and the coconut palms so that's a good start. Those grow in extreme southern Florida, a little bit in southern Texas, again subtropics.

What we're going to do is look in the gardens today and we're going to point out some plants and when people see them, they immediately think 'tropical'. We're going to talk about those plants and how you can grow them in your yard and try to familiarize you with some of them.

Preparing Your Elephant Ears for Winter

This is kind of a plant that oftentimes we see in temperate zones anywhere from Florida all the way up to the mid-Atlantic does anyone know the common name of this.

Elephant ear.

It's an elephant ear. It's colocasia. There can be colocasias or alocasias. They're members of the arum family and there are quite a few species and cultivars and varieties that can be easily grown in the temperate areas, which would be like us. We are marginally zone 8 here. We're a pretty firm warm 7 but these can easily be grown. They typically have a high humidity, high water requirement. They can handle full sun but the more sun they get, oftentimes, the more water they're going to want. In the wintertime, these become dormant, and do you know what happens to the foliage in the winter?

First frost the foliage dies. For many of these, depending on your soil type, your altitude, your latitude, I oftentimes recommend mulching over them. One thing you don't want in the winter is for them to stay really wet and cold. What happens to wet, cold rootstocks?

They freeze.

And what else can happen to them?

They can rot. So, we want to make sure they stay evenly moist, evenly protected from ground freeze, which in our area ground freezes are pretty rare. They oftentimes grow pretty close to the surface, so I recommend just some leaf mulch. You know all those leaves that you rake up and blow in your yard? They're excellent insulators for plants like your elephant ears. These can grow in dappled light, to full sun. And again, it's a plant that has a very tropical appearance. They grow very well in the tropics but they're also tolerant in our zone 7-8 here.

We're going to walk on.

Does anybody know what this is?

It's a sago palm.

Actually, it is not a sago. Sagos are cycads. This is a palm. It is a fan palm. This is a needle palm. The needle palm is perhaps one of the cold heartiest palms in the world. And when we think of palms there are a couple thousand species plus of palms around the world, and when we think of them, we pretty much ubiquitously think tropical island coconut palm swaying in the breeze.

The needle palm is native to the southeast. It's found in Florida across to Mississippi and up into South Carolina. It is an ice age relic. These plants were very common in the forests that were marginal to the glaciers thousands of years ago. And when I say isolated relic, I don't mean itself as being a very cold climate plant, but it was a very temperate plant. These are not tropical. The further south you go and the hotter it gets, and the more direct the light, the less these guys like it. But they do add a very elegant somewhat tropical look. This particular species has several different growth forms. It can be in a tight cluster of many plants and occasionally you can get individual plants that will form a single trunk and the trunk can be anywhere from five to seven feet tall. Needle palms get their name because the trunk, the base, which is called a codex, and a palm is surrounded by spines. Another common name, and I love it being from Florida we find these in lime sinks they like the coolest parts of Florida which are these collapsed areas where there's spring fed rivers the water temperature is usually 72 and it keeps it cool. These guys are very common in the lime sinks in central Florida. We call them botanical porcupines because if you look at the trunk, down at the base, it literally is like a porcupine. They have these 8- to 12-inch-long spines that are pretty nasty.

And can anyone take a guess why they have those spines?

To keep things from eating the roots?

Or to protect them from eating the bud.

But does anybody know what roamed around in this area just a few thousand years ago?

Armadillos.

Elephants.

We had elephant relatives in North America not too far back in the distant past and elephants love to eat the heart of palm, which is this soft, tender tissue. So, they'd wrap their trunk around to yank it up and that is an absolute complete immediate ouch, they would let go of it. So, the spines in some of these plants are defense mechanisms. So, when you keep plants like this, the things to bear in mind, needle palm, beautiful native plant, but it can also defend itself. So, you have to wear some gloves and be really careful working with it. They are great down to temperatures as much as zero or slightly below. This is, like I said, one of the cold hardiest species of palms.

Amorphophallus, another group of plants that typically signature you think of tropics or subtropics. We can grow amorphophallus. Beautiful foliage this time of year. In the spring they emerge, they have an enormous flower. They can be several inches to a foot long. I always in my mind when i look at the flowers on many of these, it looks like a slab of raw liver. I know, it's a very attractive thought. And other flower components that emerge from it. It's pollinated by flies.

So, what kind of smell do you think it takes to attract flies?

Roadkill.

Yeah roadkill. Hot garbage on a July day. The flower is aromatic but probably not one you would want to get too close to. But again, beautiful foliage, lush foliage. This time of year, these guys do tend to like dappled light. Some can handle pretty full sun and others, you know, marginally a little more shade. It's a bulb. They do like some depth, not too terribly deep, not too terribly shallow because you do want to protect them against ground freezes.

Quick question.

Yes sir.

In North Carolina, we have so much pine around, can you try to reference the effects like pine needles ...

Pine needles are... it's kind of interesting when you look at leaf litter or pine straw.

Pine savannas and pine ecosystems are pretty specific when you look at a lot of the understory plants that grow. You know, people talk about pH effect of decay of different types of vegetation and certainly that can play into role as well as the soils and the different kind of tannins. I haven't really found that pine straw is much of a problem but for some of these types of plants that want to come up as bulbs sometimes pine straw seems to be a little bit more difficult for them to push through than just your deciduous leaf litter. Now that's an observation of mine that may not necessarily be what other people have seen. But my preference really is to... kind of when I think of a plant, I think of it the same way I do an animal. Where is it from. What kind of soil, what kind of conditions did it grow in naturally? And I want to repeat that or replicate that as much as I can in my own garden. Because that's typically better. A lot of times we have this idea of what we want it to look like in our gardens but that isn't necessarily what's best for the plant. You wouldn't want to put a goldfish in a saltwater tank, and you don't want to put a saltwater fish in a goldfish bowl. So, for plants, it's much the same way. Whether you're looking at success or failure.

Thank you.

You're welcome

Another palm. Palms are going to be one of my favorites, but I think palms are also a group of plants that when we think of tropics... and this is a really nice one. These are trachycarpus and look at the size of this. These guys are very, very cold hardy. Especially, they may well be the cold hardiest trunk forming palm. They're native to the Himalayan cloud forest and temperate forest from the Indian subcontinent across through China. There are a number of species here in the gardens. Most of these are what's called fortunei or fortunei, there's several pronunciations for it. But it's the common windmill palm. And [they are] excellent. They can get really, really tall. They're very, very cold hardy and despite the fact that you think of again palms as tropical, this particular palm has become well established in parts of the Swiss alps. They do really ...there's some beautiful pictures of these with snow cover and icicles. Oh, they handle cold temperatures rather well. Of course, everything is relative to how long is that cold spell. You know you get nights that dip down into the teens or single digits and as long as your day gets back in the 30s or 40s 50s and you get some sunlight. But if you really dive into extremely low temperatures for extended periods like they experienced in Texas not too long ago. That actually did kill some windmill palms, which is quite unusual. But these guys get rather large.

Here's some more windmill palms. These are blooming, again excellent plants. Very tropical look but technically a temperate plant. Not truly a tropical but it will give you that tropical effect in your garden.

Succesfully Planting Palms and Cycads

Quick note on palms and success. Palms do not like their roots disturbed. And you know when we get a plant, oftentimes the first thing we want to do is pull out the pot we want to massage the roots, shake out a bunch of that dirt. With a palm that's unnecessary. Gently massage the root mass, do not shake it, do not disturb it. Palms will go through what I call a pouting period. You plant, and it's like I planted it two years ago it hasn't done anything. It's looking worse. Because before they will start growing, oftentimes the foliage they have to re-establish roots. And palms have something interesting that a lot of other living things on earth do not have, no matter how tall the plant. At the tips of your roots all the way up to your meristem. You know in plants or when cells divide, those cells form little walls. They... palms form a cluster of cells that are like long straws or tubes. The nuclei divide but they don't always wall off so when you cut those root tips, you're compromising the bud stem. So, you've seen a lot of times the palms the leaves are cut, and they're tied. That's to reduce the stress and water loss of the plant. If you're going to plant palms in your yard, do it before the end of June because plants need a few months of warm weather, palms, I’m sorry, need a few months of warm weather to begin root growth and to establish in order to make it through the winter. With a lot of plants that you think of as woody you want to plant them in the fall when they're dormant. You do not want to do that with palms. So, you want to avoid what I call root harassment. You don't really want to grab the plant and shake it hard, and you also want to plant it when it's warm. So sometime around easter, for our area, to about mid-summer. Get in the ground, water it. Keep it very well watered. Allow it some root establishment and they should do quite well, and we'll look at a few more of those.

We got lucky because that's about when we said.

Yeah, there you did. You got lucky

That's good but I mean a lot of people do the thing. I don't know. A lot of people do, but palms in general, with rare exception, the bigger ones they do a lot of root trimming. But those bigger plants have a lot of stored energy in that trunk. A lot of these smaller plants do not. In other species... the needle palm is very resilient to root damage, but Sabal minor is completely intolerant of it for the most part. They just rarely survive transplant.

      

We're going to walk through and we're going to look at some other you know just I’ll point them out we have a number of sable palms. Sabal, this is a Sabal minor. That's a Sabal 'Birmingham'... some other miscellaneous [palms]. Sabals are native to the southeast they're native to Central America into northern South America and the West Indies. They're beautiful fan palms. Many of them have a cool or cold tolerance. Certainly, the Sabal minors are among the cold hardiest. Sabal minors may well be the most cold hardy palm because they are grown into even zone 6 with very little leaf damage. Most Sabal minors maintain a rather small stature, they're not your big trunk formers. Let's keep on moving through the gardens.

This is your big trunk former. This is Sable palmetto. It's the state tree of South Carolina and of Florida. In South Carolina, they can attain heights of easily 20 to 30 feet. In my hometown of central and central Florida, we have some that are 70 feet. So sable palms can get quite large. But again, another very tropical looking plant that can potentially do quite well here. I need to find some bananas and I think we passed a few. You guys still got a little bit more time? And let's walk over to the sun garden really quick. Yes, we're going to look at some of the zingibers.

I'm not going to go into a lot of detail in varieties or species, but there's a number of plants that are in several very closely related families. They all belong to the same group with the banana, the canna, the ginger lilies, things like that. So, I’m going to point out a few of them. Many of these plants are very similar in their growth forms in the fall or winter after your few frosts they'll die to the ground. When they die to the ground, I recommend mulching them. Sometimes though with the stem some species the stems will just detach readily. You don't even have to cut them, you just tug the stem, just snaps right off. Others remain persistent. Sometimes it's a good idea to just lay that over and mulch over it. One of the reasons I say that, when you make cuts, it's an open area that can allow freeze down into the actual root or corm, so we want to avoid that. If you do that, mulch them. Be sure to kind of prevent give a little buffer.

Lots of aroids. Aroids are plants that produce a spadix type flower. Our amorphophallus, arums, elephant ears, zantedeschias like this, peace lilies, they're all members of that. They have a very tropical, subtropical appearance to them. Many of them will grow quite well in our zone. Wintertime they die to the ground, light mulching, come right back up in the spring. Again, you can have that kind of lush tropical look. Many of them are high water requiring so do remember to keep them watered.

Hedychium. These are great. Beautiful flowers in the end of summer, early fall. Common names... some people call them ginger lilies. One of the things I really like about the hedychium, unlike a lot of these other plants, they almost have like a ball and socket down at the base here. When the plants ready to die back and senesce, go dormant, they so easily just snap right off. I mean, it's just really almost like a natural dislocate. If you’ve seen it, you know what I'm talking about. It's like a ball and socket, it's just like, okay so, so easy for cleanup. And again, I recommend some light mulching. When I say light mulching.... a couple inches, which will give you a little bit of that protection barrier against ground freeze. But these have beautiful blooms, lots of different varieties, very tropical looking. Here's some in bloom.

And there's so many other plants. You know, many of these lilies like the hymenocallis and even the hemerocallis, which are temperate, subtropical but they just have a really great tropical look. Great plants. Great accent plants. That's a hymenocallis - spider lily. They're in the family with the amaryllids or amaryllidaceae they're relatives of hippeastrum, which we call amaryllis. They're a close relative of that.

Spider lily, hymenocallis.

There are a number of things that're called spider lilies. When you're looking up spider lilies, look for the ones with the white flowers. Okay, hibiscus. Hibiscus is kind of this ubiquitous flower that we think of as the tropical flower... Hawaii. What's really interesting is some of the world's most beautiful hibiscus are actually temperate and even potentially cold climate. This one here, Hibiscus syriacus or syriacus. Very, very cold tolerant woody shrub. And that's also hibiscus.

Yeah.

A lot of our native hibiscus, they die to the ground, come back up which many of these are cultivars that are hybrids based on some of our native species. They die all the way to the ground pop right back up in the spring and by mid to late summer you've got beautiful blooms as long as they're well-watered they will continue to bloom. Most of the hibiscus do like ample watering. So, if they're allowed to go dry, you may still have some pretty foliage, but you're not as likely to have as many flowers. So, the better the water...

Yeah, that's like the Rose of Sharon.

That is Rose of Sharon, but it is a hibiscus. The other day someone was asking - Was okra related to this? Yes, it is. Okras in the same family as the hibiscus. So is cotton. This is a really cool plant, erythrina. In the bean family, very thorny, it's a plant but again a tropical plant, typically and they got beautiful flowers.

Covered with thorns. Don't grab it. You go with caution, proceed with caution. But most of these are technically subtropical to tropical. Again, it's another plant when we're dealing with plants that live in these warmer tropical zones the tendency is to die to the ground end of the year. So, this is another one we would cut back with mulch around it lightly. Being that it's woody, you don't want to over mulch it.

I know it's a lot of information.

Hi, how are you doing.

And we're going to finish up our talk over here in the sun garden. We're going to take a few look at a few more plants.

Going to kind of stop right here, let you guys look to your left and your right. You're going to see some arid climate plants. We have agaves, we have yuccas, we have cacti, we have a number of plants that are dry climate plants. Believe it or not, many of these do grow in the zones that we would call the tropics but again you're looking at elevation. Some of these grow in the Andes or in mountains in central Central America where there they are exposed to occasional frosts or freezes. So, you know you think of the tropics again bear in mind it has kind of two meanings. There is a geographic, which is that band around the earth, the equator to the Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, which is the true tropics. And then there's this idea that culturally we think of warm hot and humid like you know Hawaii. But you don't think about snow skiing in Hawaii. Although you can do that. The volcanoes in Hawaii are covered with snow and snow skiing. There you are… tropics but snow.

Hibiscus, that's a beautiful one in the back. You'll see there are a lot of varieties of hibiscus and again most of these kind of a high-water liking plant. They like high water a lot of watering especially if you're going to maximize flowering. A lot of different varieties most of these are hybrids again based on some of our natives. Which our natives would not be tropical. They'd be temperate but very tropical looking plants.

Preparing Hardy Bananas for Winter

Bananas, everybody, I say most people like bananas. Here in the gardens, we have several varieties. We have Musa basjoo which is the cold hardiest of bananas. We have Musa velutina, which is probably a close second. We also have orinocensis and sikkimensis and yunnanensis, we have a number of other bananas and hybrids that we grow in the garden. One thing i like to tell people about bananas. When they begin to die back you get that first heavy freeze and the leaves, they really look bad you know they look like boiled spinach and then they turn brown and what's your...

What do you want to do with it? What do you want to do when they start looking like that?

Clip it off and make it look prettier?

But believe it or not, clipping it off making it look prettier can, again when I’m talking cold weather, potentially compromise [the plant]. Everywhere we make cuts it freezes and that as water freezes it forms.... think of a snowflake. It looks like a ninja throwing star. Those little spicules and spines as water crystallizes, they pierce cells as it goes down. So, what we want to do is try to prevent that. I encourage people with bananas leave them alone because here in our climate zone um there's a good possibility that it won't get cold enough to kill them to the ground. So, if you cut them off at the ground, you're going to start at ground zero. If you leave them and we have a relatively mild winter they'll pick up where they left off and continue to get bigger maybe even bloom and some bananas have flowers that are attractive to some really cool bugs hummingbirds. But on top of that if you want to deal with bananas, I’m going to show you what I do and what I recommend. What we do here in the garden. We leave them alone all winter long they look terrible like I said the leaves drop they turn brown and crispy. But before last frost, before we clean them up, we grab the trunk, and we feel the trunk and what we're looking for is firmness. Because everywhere where the plant is frozen... what do you think it's going to feel like?

Hard.

No, after.

It's after it's frozen in the winter it's going to feel mushy. Think about you know when you freeze vegetables you let them fall then what they feel like I mean they look great yeah but then it falls out and it goes.... And it gets slimy, and it gets gross and the gardeners everybody's like… oh. But you're going to feel it feel down the trunk and what you want to feel for is that point in which you feel firmness and then what I like to do is take something like a just a knife or big loppers. Find that point where it's firmest and cut the trunk. you may not have to go to the ground you may only have to go here, or you know if it gets down you might have to go here. But you want to find that point where it's firm, it’s going to tell you where there's still living tissue. And I tell you something about bananas is really fantastic. with my basjoos, when I clean them up in the spring, I’ll cut the crown out of them because this is all dead, but the growth merit stem is coming up through the trunk. It's a conveyor belt making leaves that is pushing up. Within 24 hours of that cut, sometimes a leaf can be as much as 4 inches to a foot above where I made that cut within a day. Within three to four days, you can have full leaves. Within a couple of weeks, you have a full crown that looks like this, and you wouldn't have even known that you had winter. They're extremely fast growing so I encourage people don't cut them to the ground. Bananas, elephant ears, cannas; you know when we mulch, we don't want to put mulch right up on a woody plant you don't ever want to mulch right up against a tree or a woody shrub. But these aren't woody they're herbaceous. So, you can mulch right up to the stem I like leaf mulch of almost a foot in depth and bananas they will punch right up through it. Bananas and a lot of these other plants we've talked about that are tropical in appearance or quasi subtropical. Many of them have high nutrient needs that aren't typical when we think of fertilizer and we like to think high nitrogen is great but a lot of them have high potassium and magnesium and manganese needs, palms in particular. Bananas have a high potassium need.

When we need potassium what do we eat?

Bananas.

Bananas. Where do you think bananas get potassium?

They're own bananas falling?

Well, they get potassium… we clean up our yards and what do we do with the yard waste?

Compost it.

Compost it. Do you know how I compost bananas? Cut them, throw it right back down there.

You know why? You're giving them back that potassium that they take up.

Right.

And so, I sometimes just I they're easy you just fold the leaf up you take the clippers and.

I give them sulfate you can take a couple tablespoons like a five-gallon bucket mix it up real well water it with that so palms also like that. Palms oftentimes have a high iron or magnesium uptake depending on the type of palm. For your trachys, if you've got those you've got windmill palms, I would give them a little bit of magnesium in the spring, early summer during the growth period. You don't want to fertilize any of these tropical looking plants towards the end of summer on. Do you know why?

What do you want to stop doing?

Growing?

Growing. Because if they're in a growth state they're going to be very susceptible to that cold weather. You want them to go dormant, you want them to slow down, you want them to prepare for a few months of sleep during the cold so reduce your fertilization, fertilize in the spring when you get that first flush of growth. Fertilize, you know, into the summer a little bit. But as you reach mid-summer on, I recommend really not worrying about it. Let them run out the course, what they're going to do, and prepare to go dormant.

Are there any questions? I know I talked a little more than 15 minutes. A lot of different things to cover.

Is there any way to kind of bio hack elephant ear by… or I mean a banana tree, and kind of cover it so that way it doesn't freeze as much down the stalk so when you clip it…

There are all kinds of ways to do things like that. In the past, we have used chicken wire cages and piled up leaves but I really kind of recommend, for most of the bananas that we grow here, not to worry that with that. Because when you get to those kind of temperatures, you know, oftentimes I won't say often, but when we hit low temps, single digits that's going to kind of do it. And if they're in that wet leaf mat and it breathes through, you can get more rot and more damage potentially.

More harm than good.

Potentially. I mean it's a good idea give some insulation. You don't ever want to do that with palms, you'll rot their trunks. But with the bananas, you can do that. But the most common banana we grow in this area is the Musa basjoo, very cold hardy, very cold hardy banana and even if they die to the ground, they're extremely quick to kick back up. I have had them in my yard for 6 years. Even in that 2018, 10 days below freezing, single digits, they didn't die all the way to the ground. I still had a couple of feet above the ground that was that was good. But again, I didn't trim them and when the trunk began to freeze it just kind of collapses and falls so they basically made this big, mangled tent of dead banana tops over the bases. So, I just, I know it looks messy and most of us want a clean yard but for bananas I just let them get a little messy and clean them up in the spring

I’m okay with messy in the fall I don't need it and then in the spring…

You're going to have enough work in the spring and summer why, yeah, there you go. Just give yourself a break in the fall and winter. But you can do that.

Okay.

And you know there are some plants that you may want to… when you're dealing with tropicals, or plants you perceive as tropical, I always recommend people look up your plant. The talk we're having today is certainly not going to be enough information to answer all the questions but always look at your plant. You're like, oh gosh we're kind of going to have a cold spell that's unusual, we're going to get down to zero for three days. Look up your plant, think to yourself – oh, I need to put maybe a foot of leaf mulch on it because we're going to get really cold. Protect that ground. I've got some sensitive ones in my yard, big pindo palm and what I did, when we hit that 2018 cold snap in January, I took black plastic and I put black plastic in a 10-foot radius around the trunk in my yard, because we still had sun. You know what that black plastic did to the ground?

Warmed up the ground.

Very much so. And we were down to maybe 4 or 5 degrees but at 2 o'clock in the morning that ground was still steaming. And around the base of that palm, it was steam coming up. Now yes, I got some I got some damage. There was significant foliar damage but that freeze killed the same species of palm all the way to Wilmington and yet mine, here in marginally zone 7, survived. But that heated the ground and that ground staying warm generated a thermal belt so there are things you can kind of think in your mind. And it was funny because a friend of mine who's not even a botanist, I was like - I don't know what I’m going to do, I’m going to cover it. She's like - Is there any way to keep the ground? That’s like, that would be wonderful. She goes - put black plastic down. And it heated the ground. The ground, I could feel in that black plastic it was warm. You know, 15 degrees outside and underneath that plastic, it was warm. And so, it basically just radiated the ground and kept this big thermal belt around the plant, so it survived. And it didn't look pretty but it wasn't dead. I didn't have to dig it out and now it's huge so you know you can do things think about… things like that. And we encourage you, if you have questions, give us a call. Our staff will do our best to try to answer questions. We like to think that the plants we put in our zone and the things we sell will survive our climate, but you never know. There are always extremes. Extreme drought and extreme cold so…

I hope that answers some questions. I know it’s a little bit longer, it's a much longer talk than I’d initially anticipated.

No, it was great, thank you.

You're welcome.

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